"It was exhausting but very rewarding," Simone Missick told PEOPLE

By Jodi Guglielmi
May 04, 2020 02:35 PM
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Credit: Getty Images

All Rise is making history.

The CBS courtroom drama is set to air a coronavirus-themed episode, shot entirely using FaceTime, Zoom and other online video technology, on Monday night. Ahead of the episode, series star Simone Missick opened up to PEOPLE about the unique experience of filming while social-distancing.

"I realized how important this episode was and how exciting it was to be able to do something that has never been done before by a scripted show," she said. "It was a lot. It was exhausting but very rewarding."

In order to abide by social-distancing guidelines, the cast did not reunite to film. Instead, each actor shot scenes from their own home before new backgrounds were created in post-production.

"Filming at my house was a little nerve-racking," Missick, 38, said. "I’ve always been a person who is very private when it comes to my personal space and my home. I had to get over that hump of not wanting people in my private space."

Credit: CBS

But once she embraced the idea of opening up her home, Missick then had to adjust to being a one-woman crew.

"When you’re working on set, you’ve got entire departments of people where their sole job is to figure out the set design, props, hair, makeup, locations," she explained. "This has made every one of us as actors take on all of those jobs."

In the episode, Judge Benner (Marg Helgenberger) will allow Judge Lola Carmichael (Missick) to preside over a virtual trial. The plot will also follow the characters’ personal lives and how they are dealing with adjusting to working from home amid self-isolation.

In order to make sure each shot looked flawless, the director instructed the actors about camera placement and lighting.

"It makes me value the people in our crew who do it every single day and do it so well," said Missick.

The special coronavirus episode airs Monday, May 4 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

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